EU-Mediterranean relations in the field of agriculture. The example of Morocco and Turkey
Two years after the Arab Spring, this Policy Paper analyses the relations between the EU and the Middle East and North African countries in the field on agriculture and calls for more cooperation.
The MENA countries with deeper relations with the EU are Turkey and Morocco. The trade balance between Morocco and Turkey with the EU is globally favourable to the EU but negative in the case of the agricultural trade. This deficit has been reduced since 2006, showing increased European agriculture competitiveness. In the medium term, the situation can change given the agricultural potential of both countries only if they can overcome their weaknesses.
There is a need for more cooperation in the two issues and from the two sides. Cooperation programmes (e.g. MEDA I and II) have been useful but because of their economic and social impact, more should be done in agricultural terms. The new European Neighbouring Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development and the ERA-ARD net should play a positive role in MENA countries. Specific compensation measures for European producers must also be considered. The EU has a long and fruitful experience to help members and candidates to cope with increased competition due to political and economic integration. It could be extended to Euro-Med cooperation.
Efficient EU policy instruments should be extended to MENA countries to reduce tensions among these countries (e.g. LEADER, Producers’ Organisations, and Interbranches). Intergovernmental organisations as the IOOC, civil and hybrid institutions and Foreign Direct Investment can play an increasing role in the future (e.g. CIHEAM, CLAM, COPA-COGECA, and binational or regional committees). Those actions must be developed with all stakeholders working in rural and agricultural development.